Former India skipper MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020. However, former India fielding coach R Sridhar has revealed that the wicket-keeper had decided to call time on his career during the 2019 ODI World Cup. In his book, ‘Coaching Beyond- My days with the Indian cricket team’, R Sridhar stated an interesting conversation between MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant.
The former Indian fielding coach revealed that on the morning of the reserve day of the semi-final between India and New Zealand, he felt that MS Dhoni has decided to retire from international cricket. R Sridhar wrote,
“I can now reveal that at the time of the interview with the BCCI, which I attended from Antigua, I was reasonably certain that for all practical purposes, MS had played his last match for the country. He hadn’t announced it, of course, but I will tell you why I knew.”
R Sridhar further expressed that Rishabh Pant asked MS Dhoni if he wanted to join some of the players, who were to leave for London privately. However, the former Indian skipper replied that he did not want to miss his last bus drive with the team.
“On the morning of the reserve day in our World Cup semifinal against New Zealand in Manchester, I was the first person at the breakfast hall. I was nursing my coffee when MS and Rishabh walked in, picked up their stuff, and joined me at my table,” wrote R Sridhar.
“New Zealand had only a couple of overs to bat out and we’d start our innings thereafter, so the match would end reasonably early. Rishabh told MS in Hindi, ‘Bhaiyya, some of the guys are planning to leave for London today itself privately. Would you be interested?’ MS replied, ‘No, Rishabh, I don’t want to miss my last bus drive with the team,” he added.